We're Moving!!

Don't forget to change your readers and bookmarks to www.firstimpressionsbaby.com/blog! We won't be here for much longer (we have a new home)!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Kids' Rooms!

Check out these great kids' rooms! For more info, click the pictures...

Friday, March 28, 2008


Live in or around the Western KY area? Then, come check us out at the Baby Fest!

It will be at Lourdes Hospital Marshall Nemer Pavilion
March 29th, 2008
From 9am - noon

Expect tons of prizes, gifts, food, lectures (optional), and tons more.

We'll be there, and we hope to see you, as well! We'll be giving away a TON of stuff...so come and find us (First Impressions Maternity and Baby LLC)!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Little Missmatched - Quiz book

Little Miss Matched has done it again! Many of you are parents, but for some of you, your little one has passed the "baby stages." I wanted to share this great, great product with you!

In the marvelous & fabulous me Quiz Box, you get a Quiz Book - full of 50 great personality quizzes for girls, Tarot cards, a doodle pad, stickers, zodiac poster, personality revealer wheel, and cootie catchers! This box has everything a girl could want to entertain herself (and her friends) for hours!

The quiz book is just that - a book with 50 great quizzes that help girls learn more about themselves and their friends - and a great way to bond! And, don't worry - the tarot cards are all in fun - they are designed "little miss matched" style - meaning pure, good, clean fun. The blank doodle pad is great for writing answers down from your quizzes, writing notes, DOODLING, or anything else they can think up! The stickers, zodiac poster, personality wheel, and cootie catchers are also sure to be a hit!

This kit is carefully designed to entertain girls for HOURS. It would make a gift - whether for a birthday or just because!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sneaky Chef Grilled Cheese

Try this next time you or the kids are hungry for some grilled cheese (from Self Magazine):

1 15 oz can of white beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 slices whole-grain bread
4 slices lowfat Gruyere, Swiss, or sharp cheddar cheese

Puree beans in food processor, pulsing, adding 2 tbsp of water, one at a time, until smooth. Combine with mustard and spreak mixture on each slice of bread. Add cheese and form two sandwiches. Coat a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-low heat. Place sandwiches on skillet until bottom is golden, 3 minutes. Spray top of sandwich and flip, cooking until other side is golden. Serves 2.

307 calories per serving
12.4 g fat (5.7 g saturated)
27.2 carbs
4.9 g fiber
26.7 g protein

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Parenting 101 Part II

*Received these in an email. They were not credited. If you are the creator/owner or know who is, please let me know so I can credit them!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Giveaway Winner - Paperlicious

Congratulations to WindyCindy for winning our Paperlicious giveaway! You'll be contacted shortly about your wonderful Momager cards!

Shaklee Giveaway WINNERS!

Thank you so much for responding to my giveaway. There were so many great entries! Congratulations to the winners and they are:

Winner #1 - windycindy (entry 3/13)
Winner #2 - leslie (entry 3/21)

Both winners will be contacted via e-mail by Kristin Grayner so that she may get your mailing address. So be on the lookout for an e-mail from her.

For those of you that didn't win, Kristin has come up with a discounted price on a bottle of Basic H2 and the 3-pack spray bottles if you are interested. It would be $23.50, a savings of $3.50 off the retail price (which is the member price). But the overall savings would be the equivalent of 60 bottles of Fantastik Multi-Purpose Cleaner, 32 bottles of Mop & Glo and 728 bottles of Windex. If you were to use all 16 oz. of Basic H2 concentrate as a windows/mirrors cleaner it would be the equivalent of 5,824 bottles of Windex!

Contact Kristin at graynerfamily@gmail.com that you are interested in purchasing the above at the discounted price and she will send you a PayPal invoice and have it shipped directly to your home!
Thanks again everyone and thank you Kristin for such a great giveaway!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Best Of...Baby Skin Care 2008

I know how difficult it can be to find a product that is "right" for you AND good for your (or your little one's) body. So... I set out to find what was behind the labels. I've compiled, in an easy to read list - form, some great products - complete with links, size, pricing, their rating, and a little about how they feel and smell and our panel's overall impressions.

Please note, although we'd love to give every company a "10," these ratings were reserved only for the best of the best products. Each and every product that made it onto this list is indeed worth trying, but some ranked higher than others.

Good luck on your search!


Shampoo, Body Wash, and Cream Bath Products

Product: Calendula Cream Bath
Brand: Weleda
Size: 6.8 oz
Price: $15.00
Rating: 9.5
Comments: Luxurious cream bath with the spicy aroma of calendula. Perfect for dry, patchy skin. Leaves skin feeling baby-soft, no matter its age. Our only complaint? The scent was a little strong at first, but became less intense after the first use (and opening of the bottle).

Product: Baby Wash
Brand: Nature’s Boundaries - Little Lamb
Price: $7.95
Rating: 9.5
Comments: Great baby wash with medium skin moisturizing effects. Lathers well and has a great scent - Vanilla with a subtle note of mandarin.

Product: Baby Wash
Brand: Nurture My Body
Size: 8.5 oz.
Price: $16.50
Rating: 9
Comments: Gentle gel with a pleasant geranium-lavender scent.

Product: Friendly Face Wash
Brand: TruKid
Size: 4 oz
Price: $8.00
Rating: 9
Comments: Great face wash, especially for older children. Light citrus scent and great cleansing, without stripping skin of all oils.

Product: Calendula Shampoo & Body Wash
Brand: Weleda
Size: 7.2 oz
Price: $10.00
Rating: 8.5
Comments: Same spicy aroma of calendula as the rest of the Weleda baby products. This product was a good shampoo/body wash and was slightly moisturizing.

Product: Shampoo and Body Wash
Brand: Nature’s Baby Organics
Size: 8 oz or 16 oz
Price: $9.95 or $17.95
Rating: 8
Comments: Comes in Lavender & Chamomile or Vanilla Tangerine scents. Cream-based shampoo/body wash and suds well.

Product: Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash
Brand: Earth Mama Angel Baby
Size: 5.3 oz
Price: $12.95
Rating: 8
Comments: Foaming shampoo/wash with a subtle citrus (orange) scent. Great for scrubbing clean a dirty baby. This is not a moisturizing cleanser, it seemed to strip the oils off of skin.

Product: La La Baby Wash and Shampoo
Brand: Mama Rose’s Naturals
Size: 6.5 oz
Price: $9.00
Rating: 7.5
Comments: Thinner consistency with little to no scent. Great for skin in good condition that need no extra moisturizing and for noses sensitive to scented products.

Product: Baby Shampoo
Brand: Nurture My Body
Size: 8.5 oz
Price: $16.50
Rating: 7
Comments: Delicate baby shampoo. Scented with marshmallow root and roman chamomile essential oil.

Baby Bar Soaps

Product: Unscented Soothing Soap
Brand: Emily Skin Soothers
Size: 4 oz
Price: $6.00
Rating: 9.5
Comments: Great lather, very moisturizing, and unscented.

Product: Bubbly Body Bar
Brand: TruKid
Size: 4 oz
Price: $6.00
Rating: 9
Comments: Great lather, unscented.

Product: Lavender Meadow Soap
Brand: Mountain Girl Botanics
Size: 5.5oz
Price: $6.49
Rating: 7.5
Comments: Great lather with a lavender scent.

Product: Oh! Baby Soap - Calendula Castile
Brand: Oh! Baby by Creating Harmony LLC
Price: $6.00
Rating: 7
Comments: Unscented, not a great lather.

Product: Baby Bar Soap
Brand: Nurture My Body
Size: 3.5 oz
Price: $5.97
Rating: 7
Comments: Unscented with slight lather.

Other (Bath)

Product: Angel Baby Bath Blossoms
Brand: Earth Mama Angel Baby
Size: 1.5 oz or 3 oz
Price: $7.95 or $12.95
Rating: 10
Comments: An organic herbal bath blend that is naturally comforting - great for fussy babies and/or a distressed mama. Smells wonderful, and soothes sensitive skin as it moisturizes. Comes with a muslin bag for steeping, which can double as a washcloth. Perfect.

Product: Comfort Bath Oil
Brand: Demeter (Eco Beauty Organics)
Size: 3.5 oz
Price: $34.00
Rating: 9
Comments: A lightly scented oil for the bath. Easy to use and great for relaxation and tummy troubles. Another great resource for colicky babies.

Product: Conditioner & Detangler
Brand: Nature’s Baby Organics
Size: 8 oz and 16 oz
Price: $10.95 and $17.95
Rating: 7.5
Comments: Comes in Lavender Chamomile or Vanilla Tangerine. Very thin but creamy consistency. Great for finer hair. Is good for light conditioning, and the consistency is also great for “leave in” conditioner. Can be used and either left in or rinsed out.

Baby Oils

Product: Organic Baby Oil - Mandarin Coconut (scent)
Brand: Nature’s Baby Organics
Size: 4 oz
Price: $10.95
Rating: 9.5
Comments: USDA organic. Vegan, Paraben, Nut, and Gluten Free. Hypo-allergenic. Great lightly scented oil for moisturizing delicate skin.

Product: Angel Baby Oil
Brand: Earth Mama Angel Baby
Size: 1 oz or 4 oz
Price: $5.95 or $12.95
Rating: 9.5
Comments: Oil made from good-for-you ingredients with little to no scent. Great moisturizing oil with no nut oils (so, no worries about about nut allergies). Perfect for sensitive skin.

Product: Birth & Baby Massage Oil
Brand: Mother Love
Size: 2 oz or 4 oz
Price: $8.50 or $14.95
Rating: 9.5
Comments: Little to no scent oil. USDA certified organic. Made with lavender flower and apricot oil. Great for perineal massage during labor or infant massage (because it has no essential oils).

Product: Organic Baby Oil
Brand: Nature’s Boundaries - Little Lamb
Price: $6.95
Rating: 9
Comments: Wonderfully (yet lightly) scented oil. Works great. However, does contain almond oil.

Product: Calendula Oil
Brand: Weleda
Size: 6.5 oz
Price: $13.00
Rating: 8.5
Comments: Little to no scent. However, does contain almond oil.

Lotions and Creams

Product: Calendula Baby Cream
Brand: Weleda
Size: 2.6 oz
Price: $10.00
Rating: 10
Comments: Lightly scented, Intensive (VERY heavy) cream for seriously dry skin. (Think: heavy cream ointments). Wonderful product for when regular lotions just won’t do the trick.

Product: Angel Baby Lotion
Brand: Earth Mama Angel Baby
Size: 8 oz
Price: $19.95
Rating: 9.5
Comments: lightweight, twist open/close pump, Light vanilla and orange scent. Think Orange Creamsicles. Mmmm...

Product: Organic Calendula Lotion
Brand: Nature's Boundaries - Little Lamb
Size: 8.5 oz
Price: $9.95
Rating: 9.5
Comments: Great lotion with a medium consistency and wonderful scent with a hint of vanilla and mandarin. Great moisturizer without being too heavy.

Product: Lavender Meadow Body Mouse
Brand: Mountain Girl Botanics
Size: 4 oz
Price: $11.99
Rating: 9.5
Comments: Deeply moisturizing lavender scented body mouse. Feels great! Moisturizing and light all at once? Wow!

Product: Happy Face and Body Lotion
Brand: TruKid
Size: 4 oz
Price: $8.00
Rating: 9
Comments: Fruity scent. Lightweight. Non-greasy.

Product: Lullaby Lotion
Brand: Mama Rose’s Naturals
Size: 6.5 oz
Price: $10.00
Rating: 9
Comments: Thick non-greasy lotion with a lavender scent. Great product!

Product: Face and Body Moisturizer
Brand: Nature’s Baby Organics
Size: 8 oz
Price: $11.95
Rating: 9
Comments: “Fragrance free”, but not unscented. Very thick cream consistency. Scent: Rose. Good for really dry skin, may not be a good everyday moisturizer if your skin is not otherwise really dry.

Product: Calendula Cream
Brand: Demeter (Eco Beauty Organics)
Size: 1.8 oz
Price: $27.00
Rating: 9
Comments: Thick, lightly scented, but highly moisturizing calendula cream.

Product: Baby Lotion
Brand: Nurture My Body
Size: 8 oz
Price: $20.90
Rating: 8
Comments: Lightweight baby lotion with an orange citrus spice scent.

Product: Organic Baby Cream
Brand: Nature’s Boundaries - Little Lamb
Size: 2 oz
Price: $6.49
Rating: 8
Comments: “Cream” is in balm form (solid until you rub it or press it), but is thick all the same. Has the wonderful vanilla and mandarin scent. Great for moisturizing, but does feel a bit oily after applied (like shea butter).

Product: Calendula Lotion
Brand: Weleda
Size: 6.8 oz
Price: $12.00
Rating: 7
Comments: Spicy herbal scent. Thin consistency (like sunscreen), but a little sticky feeling afterwards.

Product: Cherish Your Baby Lotion
Brand: Cherish Your Baby by Green Valley Herbal Enterprises
Size: 5 oz
Price: $5.90
Rating: 6
Comments: Thick lotion with strong earthy scent.

First Aid/ Healing

Product: Sunny Days Face Stick
Brand: TruKid
Size: 0.6 oz
Price: $10.00
Rating: 10
Comments: Light, moisturzing, UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum SPF 30 mineral sunscreen for faces. In a tube. Great product, very convenient, and still that light citrus scent.

Product: Ah Choo! Chest Rub (Eucalyptus)
Brand: Nature’s Baby Organics
Size: 2 oz
Price: $10.95
Rating: 10
Comments: Great salve that helps relieve chest and sinus congestion. USDA certified organic and eucalyptus scented. Great product and I’d recommend it for your medicine cabinet.

Product: Children’s Cold & Flu Essential Oil
Brand: Aromatic Health
Price: $10.00
Rating: 10
Comments: A great mix of oils to help alleviate colds and the flu the “natural” way. Use this mixture in a bath, massage, or simple inhalation.

Product: Organic Soothing Stick
Brand: Nature’s Baby Organics
Size: .63 oz
Price: $9.95
Rating: 9.5
Comments: GREAT product! Wonderful for rashes, burns, cuts and scrapes, bug bites, and anything else you could think of. It’s a first aid kit in a stick! Keeps fingers clean, and is packaged perfectly for travel.

Product: Sunny Days Mineral Sun Screen
Brand: TruKid
Size: 4 oz
Price: $14.00
Rating: 9.5
Comments: Love this mineral sunscreen (UVA/UVB broad spectrum with an SPF of 30). It’s light, wonderful, and has a pleasant fruity scent. - Which is great because what good is sunscreen if you can’t get the little ones to apply it?

Product: Soothing Salve
Brand: Emily Skin Soothers
Price: $14.00
Rating: 9.5
Comments: Works great, wonderful for any skin irritations. Works great for itchy skin, as well. Very earthy smell.

Product: Hero Stick
Brand: TruKid
Size: 0.6
Price: $10.00
Rating: 9
Comments: Great for rashes, cuts, burns, scrapes, bug bites. It’s like a first-aid kit in a stick form! Easy to carry in a purse or bag, and no mess for fingers.

Product: Peaceful Baby (colic or teething)
Brand: Mama Rose’s Naturals
Size: 1 oz dropper bottle
Rating: 9
Comments: A great alternative to some of the other mainstream drops for colic and teething. And, alcohol-free.

Product: Joy’s Special Blend Tea
Brand: Cherish Your Baby
Size: 18 bags per package
Price: $4.20
Rating: 9
Comments: Herbal tea made from mint, lemon verbena, nettle, and chamomile.

Product: Spiffy Spearmint Lip Balm
Brand: TruKid
Size: 0.15 oz
Price: $3.50
Rating: 8.5
Comments: Moisturizing with a light spearmint scent and slight “sweet” taste. Great to get children to wear lip balm. No menthol for kids.

Product: Aromatherapy Calming Spray in Lovely Lavender
Brand: Nature’s Baby Organics
Size: 4 oz
Price: $8.95
Rating: 8
Comments: Softly scented “lavender” spray to be used on linens or wherever to help calm baby. Both the spray and the scent are light. However, if you are looking for a true lavender scent (and, lavender alone), you may be disappointed.

Diaper Care (deodorizers, diaper rash cream, etc)

Product: Diaper Rash Salve
Brand: Mother Love
Size: 1 oz
Price: $9.50
Rating: 10
Comments: light - no scent. Great salve, and works great! Can even be used for rashes possibly caused by yeast.

Product: Love That Baby Bum Bum Balm
Brand: Sunflower Hill
Price: $7.95
Rating: 10
Comments: Balm with a very light, fresh scent.

Product: Sunshine Spray
Brand: Mama Rose’s Naturals
Size: 4 oz
Price: $12.00
Rating: 9.5
Comments: This sunshine spray is unbelievable! Spray on a soft cloth to use when changing baby (as a wipe), spray on diapers to help deodorize, spray on linens, in the air, use on irritated skin (including minor cuts, burns, bites, etc). It really is for everything! Wonderful product - I’d love to see it with more choices for scents.

Product: Diaper Cream
Brand: Nature’s Baby Organics
Size: 4 oz
Price: $11.95
Rating: 9
Comments: Great diaper cream. Goes on well, isn’t hard to remove and helps with rashes.

Product: Silky Dusting Powder
Brand: Nature’s Baby Organics
Size: 4 oz
Price: $9.95
Rating: 9
Comments: This powder was lightweight and had a rose chamomile scent.

Product: Bottom Salve
Brand: Cherish Your Baby
Size: 2 oz
Price: $5.00
Rating: 9
Comments: Salve with a light scent (combination of evening primrose, tea tree, lavender, and rosemary).

Product: Birth and Baby Spritzer
Brand: Mother Love
Size: 2 oz
Price: $8.50
Rating: 9
Comments: little to no scent spritzer. Great for refreshing baby, as a room spray, or for mom while in labor.

Product: Angel Baby Bottom Balm
Brand: Earth Mama Angel Baby
Size: 2 oz
Price: $14.95
Rating: 9
Comments: Works wonderfully for rashes (including diaper rashes), cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites. A little greasy but goes on smoothly and helps to quickly clear up skin. Tea tree oil scented.

Product: Stardust Baby Powder
Brand: Mama Rose’s Naturals
Size: 4 oz
Price: $9.00
Rating: 9
Comments: A light powder with arrowroot and baking soda base with a light and pleasant scent.

Product: Baby Nappy Balm
Brand: Demeter (Eco Beauty Organics)
Size: 3.5 oz
Price: $30.00
Rating: 9
Comments: Lightly (fresh) scented tub of “balm” for baby’s bottom. It’s like a cream and balm all in one. It looks creamy, but goes on smoothly and evenly like a balm.

Product: Oh! Baby Petroleum Free Diaper Balm
Brand: Oh! Baby by Creating Harmony LLC
Size: 2.5 oz
Price: $9.00
Rating: 8.5
Comments: Diaper balm with an earthy scent and a creamy texture. Great for bottoms that need a little extra loving and more moisture.

Product: PU All Purpose Deodorizer
Brand: Nature’s Baby Organics
Size: 4 oz
Price: $11.95
Rating: 8
Comments: Lavender Chamomile or Vanilla Tangerine scented. Works great, removes smell and leaves a light scent. -Great for nursery, bathroom, or anywhere else that needs some odor control.

Product: Magic Touch Baby Balm
Brand: Mama Rose’s Naturals
Size: 2 oz
Price: $12.00
Rating: 8
Comments: Diaper Rash Salve with an earthy scent.

Product: Mountain Baby Butt Balm
Brand: Mountain Girl Botanics
Size: 4oz
Price: $15.99
Rating: 8
Comments: Salve with an earthy scent. Easy to remove from baby’s bottom (it just soaks in, no residue). Would have received higher rating if unscented or had a more pleasant scent.

Product: Calendula Diaper Care
Brand: Weleda
Size: 2.8 oz
Price: $10.00
Rating: 8
Comments: Cream diaper rash ointment in spicy Calendula scent.

Product: Linen Spray
Brand: Cherish Your Baby
Size: 2 oz.
Price: $4.00
Rating: 7.5
Comments: VERY strong lavender scent. Could be great if diluted a bit.

Product: Hemp Bum Butter
Brand: Aromatic Health
Size: (30G)
Price: $12.00
Rating: 7
Comments: Product is balm based with a light earthy scent (not overpowering). Goes on smoothly. It comes in a tin with a loose lid (the type of container chosen, not defective), not good for traveling, purses, or bags.

Product: Powder
Brand: Cherish Your Baby
Size: 5.8 oz
Price: $6.50
Rating: 6
Comments: Scent - a combination of arrowroot, lavender, and tea tree oil. Nice consistency, but low marks for the scent.

Skin Deep

When was the last time you truly stopped to consider what you were putting on your body...or your child's? Every shampoo, every baby lotion, every cream contains SOME sort of chemicals - but how safe are they?

I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "If it wasn't safe, it wouldn't be allowed on the shelves."


I could give you a list of products on shelves across America that contain chemicals that were proven UNSAFE ...and yet, we still buy them, unaware.

Unfortunately, until further notice - it's up to you to make sure that the ingredients you are putting on your and your children's skin (our largest organ) is SAFE.

So, for now, start with these most toxic ingredients (in baby care items), and see what you can do away with. If you can't get rid of it all, do what you can and work on the rest.

The DIRTY list:

* DMDM Hydantoin - Allergen and irritant that can form cancer-causing contaminants

* Fragrance - Allergens that may contain neurotoxic or hormone-disrupting chemicals

* Ceteareth and PEG compounds - Petrochemicals that may contain cancer-causing impurities

*Triclosan - Linked to thyroid disruption, produces toxic byproducts in tap water

*Fluoride - Neurotoxic agent that can discolor teeth at high doses

*Oxybenzone - In sunlight, can produce allergy- and cancer-causing chemicals

*Triethanolamine - Allergen and irritant that can form cancer-causing contaminants

*2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol (or Bronopol) - Allergen and irritant that can form cancer-causing contaminants

* BHA - Banned in other countries because it can cause skin depigmentation

* Boric Acid and Sodium Borate - Industry authorities caution against use on infant or damaged skin

*Sodium Borate - Industry authorities caution against use on infant or damaged skin

For more information about what's in YOUR specific products, check out SKIN DEEP.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Don't forget our two giveaways we have going on right now (winners to be drawn on Monday!):

Shaklee Get Clean, Go Green Giveaway


Momager Calling Cards by Paperlicious

Be sure to sign up!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

O Yikes - A discount for my readers!

Here's a new discount for you ladies and gentlemen who liked the O Yikes diaper bag (or any of their line):

Just put this code in when you check out:


to get 15% off your purchase!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Momager Calling Cards

It always happens at the most unexpected times: You meet someone and connect with and you want to see them again. And, let's face it, we always procrastinate and get each other's contact info when we are about to part ways. Why? I'm not sure...but that's how it almost always goes down...or at least for me.

And, really...who wants to be digging to the bottom of their purse (or huge diaper bag) for a scrap piece of paper and an ink pen while your children are screaming and clinging to your arms like monkeys in a barrel and you are doing your best not to pee your pants - all the while knowing you are already 10 min late for your next appointment (if you left RIGHT NOW)???

INSTEAD, try these Momager cards by Paperlicious. (Don't worry dads, they have cool designs for you too!!) Each card is customized with the information you want - add messenger IDs, emails, phone numbers, addresses...whatever you want! AND - add your kids' names, so your new friend will remember exactly who you are and whether she does really want to schedule a playdate with your little devil child angel.

And, guess what!

ALL Readers can get a 10% discount by going to Paperlicious and entering this code: 08ISGREAT

One lucky reader will receive a box of 50 "Momager" cards (Dads - feel free to enter!). To enter, please check out the Momager cards and let us know which style is your favorite and why you'd put them to the best use (aka why you should win). Please also leave your NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS.
Winner will be drawn next Monday!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tasty Tuesdays

Got this recipe from my good friend, J (that's what we're gonna call her anyways). (Thanks!)

She brought these to my mom and OBVIOUSLY I had some. Ashley pass up cookies? Riiighhht.
They taste a lot like the Girl Scout Shortbread cookies...only better (and way cheaper)...

"Best Ever Sugar Cookies"
1 cup soft butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Cream butter, sugars, add eggs; mix well. Blend in remaining ingredients. Roll dough in walnut-sized balls, place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Dip bottom of a small glass in granulated sugar and press cookies to make them flat. Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until the edges begin to turn golden brown.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

peanut butter & jelly muffins

**I received a request a while back about some recipes to hide healthy foods in children's meals, and so I am delivering. Please let it be known that I'm not entirely sure where I stand on this issue. While it is true that you may be avoiding some mealtime battles, it may not serve you well as a long-term solution.

Each child and family is different, and I know each of you will do what is best for yours. Please do keep in mind that growing children should try the same food several (actually, a lot) of times before they become accustomed to (and like) the taste of many foods. This recipe is from The Sneaky Chef.

peanut butter & jelly muffins

peanut butter & jelly muffins - Sample Recipes from The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals

Nutrition Highlights: vegetables, whole grains, nuts Rich in vitamins A, B complex, C, E, K, manganese, iron, potassium, folate, riboflavin, selenium, fiber, and protein.

Makes 8 large muffins (or 16 mini muffins)
1 cup Flour Blend (1/3 cup whole grain flour, 1/3 cup white flour, 1/3 cup wheat germ)
2 teaspoons baking powder
One-half teaspoon baking soda
One-half teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
One-quarter cup brown sugar
One-quarter cup canola oil
Three-quarters cup Orange Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #2)
Three-quarters cup smooth peanut butter
8 heaping teaspoons favorite jam*

*Note: Jelly doesn't work as well as the thicker variety of jam; jelly just disappears into the muffins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined, then whisk in the oil, Orange Puree and peanut butter. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until flour is just moistened (don't over-mix or the muffins will be dense).

Scoop about two tablespoons of batter into the large muffin cups until half full. Place a heaping teaspoon of jam in the center of each muffin. Cover the jam with another 2 tablespoons or so of batter, filling the cups just over the top. If you're using mini muffin cups, scale back quantities to fit into the smaller sized cups.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

O Yikes!

I've been introduced to O Yikes, a lovely company where the past meets the present. And, recently, they came up with a new bag: The Square.

This awesome bag comes in 3 colors: avocado/chocolate (shown), apricot/chocolate, and turquoise/chocolate.

It's hard to not feel a little bit nostalgic while wearing the Square - and there's no reason you can't wear it anywhere you go. Use it as a diaper bag, a messenger bag, your school bag, your purse, carry-on travel bag. Square in shape but NOT when it comes to functionality. This bag can be used for any of your needs.

And, while you're at it - check out their awesome matching accessories: changing pad, insulated bottle holder, and accessories case. I love it!

  • Padded interior protects your 13" laptop computer.
  • Multiple pockets to keep you organized.
  • Store your phone, pda, or mp3 with the padded accessory holder.
  • Keep your keys in one place with the brushed aluminum key ring.
  • Easily adjust the nylon seat-belt type strap to wear over your shoulder or across your back.
  • Carry items in external folder pocket.
  • Wool exterior and microfiber interior.
  • Measurements: Back compartment 12"h x 12"w x 4"d (plus 2" expansion)

Changing Pad
  • Our folded design and Velcro closure makes it simple to open and just as simple to put away.
  • The microfiber lining isn't just soft; it's water resistant and easy to clean for those unfortunate accidents.
  • The folded design compactly and portably folds down to a small, manageable size.
  • Measurements:
    Folded 8"h x 7"w x 1"d
    Opened 24"h x 14"w x .25"d

Bottle Holder
  • The insulated bottle holder will keep your cold drinks cold and your hot drinks hot.
  • Keep your hands free using the wrist carry away loop to quickly take your bottles and sippy cups with you.
  • Effortlessly retrieve your bottles and sippy cups with our easy-access wide zipper opening.
  • Our universal size Bottle Holder comfortably fits most size bottles and sippy cups.
  • Measurements: 9"h x 10.5"dia

Accessory case
  • Quickly and conveniently find small everyday necessities in one place.
  • Two deep open compartments give you ample room.
  • See-through mesh pockets make it easy to find what you need.
  • Measurements: 5"h x 6.5"w x 3"d

Friday, March 14, 2008

Custom Made For Kids Special!

A while back, I did a post about Custom Made For Kids and their very awesome and unique storybooks!

And, just in time for Easter, they are offering a 15% off discount for my readers. Just enter this discount code upon checkout:


So, for this Easter - get your little ones something healthier and more special than sugary treats - get them a customized story book from Custom Made For Kids.

Offer ends March 31, 2008.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Parenting 101

**All images are from an email I received, I do not know where they originate from. If you are the creator or know who is, please email me so I can give credit.


Wupzey! The first time that piece of chicken falls to the floor...it really is an accident. But, then another goes over the side of the high-chair tray. And, then another. Before you know it, food is flying everywhere. In fact, more food probably lands on you and the floor than actually ends up in baby's mouth.

Unless, of couse you have a Wupzey Food Catcher. These ingenious inventions hook right on to your baby's highchair and catch anything from chicken and peas to sippy cups. Want more good news? Try this:

  • Made from 100% Rip-Stop Nylon
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Easy to attach and detach
  • Machine Washable
Comes in a variety of colors and patterns, so go pick one out that meshes with your style...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thursday Thirteen No. 7

13 Hot Topics in Child-rearing

1. Spanking vs. other methods of disciplining
2. Breast vs. Bottle
3. Sugar sugar sugar (in foods) vs. making your own
4. cloth vs. disposables (diapers)
5. vaccine vs. not
6. Western meds vs. Hollistic
7. Are white lies acceptable?
8. Should you give your teenagers condoms?
9. Stay at home or Work outside the home?
10. All Natural Births vs. Pain meds
11. Circumcision vs. NOT
12. Should kids get privacy (and how much)?
13. Co-sleeping vs. separate cribs

Interested in hearing more about these topics?

Works for Me Wednesday

Not enough hours in the day? I feel the same way a lot of times. But, I've learned to multi-task...in a hardcore sort of way. LOL. And, it leaves me with lots of free time (well, sort of...but then I find something else to dive headfirst into).

So, here are a few tips!

Need to clean the bathtub? Use some of that body wash or shampoo you bought but didn't like to clean the tub/shower WHILE YOU'RE IN IT! Or - use some of your favorite body wash/shampoo and enjoy the smell! This saves me TONS of time. And, I'm not having to spend extra on cleaning supplies that are BAD for me!

Need to tidy up? Try picking up at least 3 things from a room as you leave to put them up. For example: I'm in the Living Room and I get up to get some water. I'll grab three things that are in the LR and either need to go to the kitchen OR to a room that is close to or on my way to the kitchen and then drop those off in those rooms. Then, when I leave the kitchen, I do the same thing. I'm constantly picking things up and taking things back to where they belong. Hey - I'm going that way anyhow! And, it saves more time than you could imagine!

Need to do laundry? Save your favorite TV show (on DVR or TiVo if you have it) and then wait to watch it when it's time to do laundry OR choose to do laundry when those shows come on. That way, you are doing a chore but it won't seem like because you are doing something you like as well! I also will save baby L's clothes to fold and put away for when she's in the mood to play. Then, we'll go to her room and she'll "help" by pulling clothes out of the basket (sometimes she runs off with them)...but I get to interact and play with her while I'm doing something that needs to be done.

What do you do to make your life a little easier?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March - Go Green. Giveaway.

Monthly “Clean Up” Giveaway!!!!

I’ve decided to make this a monthly giveaway to do my part in helping the environment! Have you thought about "going green" but you didn't know where to start? Which products do I use? Are they more expensive in concentrate form? Which company to purchase products from, grocery store or a direct selling company? And last but not least, do green cleaners really work? Those were my exact questions as well.

Here's a great example of what you may not know about household cleaners. Take a look at this video called Toxic Brew. It was done by a Toronto news crew: http://www.theglobalsuccessteam.net/resources/wmv/toxic_Brew.html.

In my search for a non-toxic cleaning line, I found a wonderful company to purchase products from. I was introduced to this awesome line called Get Clean by Kristin Grayner, a Shaklee Independent Distributor. She decided to become a Shaklee Distributor because of this non-toxic line of cleaners. She wanted to make a difference for families and for the environment. Her mission, and one that I agree with, is to speak with families about the toxins they are innocently bringing into their homes through household cleaners. Not only has she helped the environment within homes, but she has affected the outside environment as well.

Every time someone purchases a Get Clean Starter Kit to convert their entire home in one shot, they are eliminating 108 pounds of packaging waste from landfills, eliminating 248 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions and it's the equivalent of planting 10 trees. One of the nice things about using these products is once you get rid of all those undesirable cleaners you may have in your home, you won't have to replace them with 27 more. You'd have to spend more than $3,400 in store bought cleaners, to get the same amount of clean that you do with the Starter Kit!

These products were featured on America’s favorite day time talk show 5 times last year and are considered a “favorite thing!”

If you'd like to enter into a national drawing for $250.00 worth of free products, you can do so at www.goshaklee.info, password XE88705. You need to watch the videos to be entered into the drawing. Shaklee will then choose someone each month! GOOD LUCK! Please disregard the automated e-mail you receive from the system, Kristin will thank you personally for your entry.

If you'd like a free sample of Basic H2, you can send a message directly to Kristin Grayner at graynerfamily@gmail.com. You can visit her website at www.PowerfulClean.com.
Through this blog, you can enter the win a bottle of Basic H2 (windows/mirrors and all-purpose cleaning), a 3-pack of spray bottles and a box of the vegetable based Dryer Sheets, which are recyclable! - Just leave me a comment with: your name, email, and why you MUST win. Two winners will be picked!

Be sure to check back March 24th, 2008 to see if you were the lucky winner!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tasty Tuesdays

Soft Pretzels

  • 3 1/2 C (1/2 kg) of flour
  • 4 Tbsp. (36 g) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. (12 g) salt (sea salt preferably)
  • 1 Tbsp. (12 g) yeast, dissolved in 1 C (237 g) water that's fairly warm but not hot (120°F, 49°C)
  • 1 Tbsp. (14 g) baking soda mixed dissolved in 1 C (237 g) boiling water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl
  1. Mix brown sugar, salt, and the yeast and water mixture in a food processor or a large mixing bowl. Add flour and mix until the dough is smooth. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour. If possible, let the dough sit overnight in a plastic container in the fridge.
  2. Divide the dough into 4, 6 or 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope. If you're working with 12 pieces, make the ropes very thin, a little bigger than a pencil. If you're making 4, you can roll them to about cigar thickness and 36 inches (almost a meter) long.
  3. Shape a single rope into an upside down "U" on your table. Bring the ends together and twist them as shown.
  4. Bring them to the top of the pretzel. Flatten the ends with your fingers and press in the dough to secure, making it look like a pretzel. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
  5. Repeat the previous two steps with the remaining pieces of dough and place them on the cookie sheet, too.
  6. Allow the pretzels to raise for 30 minutes -- until they've about doubled in size.
  7. Brush with the water-soda solution. Or, for a chewier crust, mix 2 Tbsp. (24 g) baking soda with 4 C (1 kg) boiling water and drop the pretzel in there for about the count of 10 and then lift out with a strainer or pancake turner.
  8. Brush the pretzels with the egg and water mixture. This gives the pretzel a nice, shiny glaze. Then sprinkle with toppings like:

    • coarse salt (see Tips below)

    • garlic and Parmesan cheese

    • Cinnamon and sugar

    • sesame seeds
  9. Bake in a pre-heated oven 400° to 450° F (225° C) for 12 to 15 minutes or until well browned. Carefully remove from the oven and place on a sheet of aluminum foil to cool.

*Recipe from WikiHow

Giveaway WINNER!

Congratulations busdriver56! You've just won a "Pink and Blue Make Me Spew" onesie and pacifier by Rebel Ink Baby!

Congratulations! - and thanks to everyone for entering to win!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Gal Pal Retro Ice Bag

Nobody likes getting hurt or not feeling well. Or hangovers. Okay...let me rephrase this. MOST of us do not like these things. But, let's face it...at some point you aren't going to feel well - and that stinks, but Gal Pal can make it just a bit easier on ya.

Gal Pal's Retro Ice Bags make being sick a little less (dare I say it) horrible. With their fun prints and great designs, you won't ever have to worry about frost bite on your face from the ice cube in the napkin trick (yeh, trick-on-you). The ice bags provide a great barrier between your skin and the actual ice water - so relief comes fast.

Also, these great bags can be filled with HOT water for some instant heat therapy.

Check 'em out! HERE.

Friday, March 7, 2008

All dressed up.

Made a new dress for Baby L (my first ever!). So, here it is (above).

You can make your own with THESE instructions.

Or, read more about Baby L's new dress.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Top 10 Signs You Are A Mom...

I found this on Goodies For Mom's blog...and thought I'd play along.

Here are my Top 10 Signs You Are A Mom (Or a Dad):

1. You hope ketchup is a veggie...because it's the only one your kid eats.
2. Not only have you mastered the "bedhead" look...you've also mastered the "I haven't showered in days" and the "I haven't really slept in months" look
3. It's 3 PM and you are still in your pjs. (Okay, that's if you are a SAHM/SAHD lol)
4. You stop criticizing the way your parents raised you. - That, and spanking starts to make a lot more sense.
5. You find yourself cutting your sandwiches (even if it isn't for the kids) in cute little shapes and peeling the crust off...or chopping everything into tiny bite-sized pieces.
6. You begin fantasizing about playing cowboys and indians or hide and seek...just so you can tie them up and hide (or just hide if the game is hide and seek).
7. You are so desperate for adult conversation that you tell your problems to the telemarketer...and they hang up on YOU!
8. You are out with your friends and you excuse yourself to go "potty"
9. You measure your time in cartoon increments "You can watch ONE backyardigans...and then off to bed!"
10. You just spent 3 hours doing heavy duty cleaning: scrubbing, mopping, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, picking up...and in 10 minutes...it looks like you haven't done anything at all.
And a bonus: Somedays you wonder if you really are cut out to do this at all...but you know you'd never ever trade...not for anything.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thursday Thirteen No. 7

Thirteen ways to decorate Easter eggs:

*Click on the link beside each one to see HOW!

Silk Tie Easter Eggs

Stamped Eggs

Tissue Paper Eggs

Egg Creatures

Botanical Eggs

Beaded Eggs

Natural Egg Dyeing Techniques

Chalkboard Easter Eggs

Marbleized Swirls

Elegant Eggs

Wax Resist Eggs

Glittered Eggs

Stenciled Eggs

Works for Me Wednesday - Backwards Edition

Alrighty...well...this week powers other than ME have decided that this Wednesday is BACKWARDS EDITION. Usually, every Wednesday I post a tip. Well, today...I have the question! And, I need you for the answers!

I want to know:

What are your Easter traditions?

You don't eat pancakes for the protein.

So, the other night I got this craving for pancakes. At 9 pm - and the closest grocery/Walmart open this late is 25 minutes away. We had the pancake mix, the syrup, and even some chocolate chips! But, no eggs or milk. So, what's a girl to do?

I took it upon myself to search for a recipe where I could make eggless, milkless pancakes - all the while trying to think of a way to pressure poor hubby into making the run to the grocery so I could satisfy this horrid craving. And, in my search results I came upon the oh-so-helpful Yahoo Answers - where everyone is an expert (yeh in bull...sorry). Anyways...

The question was (someone else had asked): Can you make pancakes without eggs?

I began getting hopeful. Oh good! 15 replies! And then I started reading them...

Buttermilk. Right. I don't have milk OR eggs genius...why would I have buttermilk?

Use a mix. Thanks genius. Already doing that and it wants milk and eggs. Should I add a different pancake mix to my grocery list too?

....and my favorite reply?....

Yes...but why deny yourself the protein?"

Wait a minute...who in the dickens eats pancakes when they are concerned about protein? I mean, sheesh. Kinda like you don't eat brownies for the dairy. Duh.

Okay, okay...so if you were wondering...I did have my pancakes.

To make egg-less, milk-less pancakes, you just add 2 c. of pancake mix and 1 1/3 c. water. You can add a little more pancake mix after that to thicken it. I couldn't really tell a difference. But, then again...I had chocolate chips and peanut butter....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Rebel Ink Baby

There's a sassy new brand in town : Rebel Ink Baby. Despite what the name implies, it's not just for baby...you can dress your toddlers too (up to 5T).

Here are a few of my favorites:

Change is Good
I Live in a Gated Community
Do I Pass the Sniff Test
Cereal Killer
It Ain't Gonna Change Itself

And, guess what! We're giving away a Rebel Ink Baby pacifier and a Pink and Blue Make Me Spew onesie. Want to win it? Just visit Rebel Ink Baby's site and come back and comment, telling us which onesie/t-shirt is your favorite ( be sure to leave your name and email address if you don't have a blog with blogger!)!

Good luck!

(Winner will be announced on Monday!)

Tasty Tuesdays!

Easy Microwaveable Cakes


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling (for yellow cake mixes) or cherry pie filling (for chocolate cake mixes)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce


  1. Mix the box of cake mix, eggs, pie filling and applesauce till moist. Use a microwave safe bundt pan or substitute a microwave safe bowl that has a microwave safe cup or cone placed in the middle of it (to mimic a bundt pan). Pour mixture into the bowl around the cup.
  2. Bake on high for 6 minutes 30 seconds, turn and bake for another 6 minutes 30 seconds on high. Remove from oven and cover bowl with a dish and let stand for 5 minutes (this finishes the cooking process).
  3. Turn cake over onto dish and remove cone (cup) for a delicious quick dessert. Good hot with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Oh! The adventures!

The last time Baby L has really touched grass was...well...right after she was born, and that summer. But, since she mostly did nothing but "lay around," she never has truly gotten the full effect. Until today.

The weather was absolutely beautiful. A surprising 65-70 degrees with a warm breeze. Lovely. So, of course...we headed to a local park. Baby L loves to swing...okay, okay...mostly she loves trying to kick whoever is in front of her....

And, we crawled through tunnels...

Slid down slides...

And, ate leaves?

Wait...Baby L...why do you have a leaf? And, before we can grab it, Granny says, "Nah! Let her have a taste! She'll figure out she doesn't like it really quick! She'll think it's icky." So, we succumb to the great wisdom of Granny and wait for Baby L to spit the leaf out on her own and wrinkle her nose in disgust. And, we keep waiting...but the leaf disappeared. Yes, she ate it. Baby L was quite the explorer today...

Here's a quick recap of some of the things she learned:

She learned that twigs don't float in the wind quite like leaves do (she tried to let the wind catch a twig after seeing several leaves float away...instead, it hit Grandpa in the foot).

She learned that leaves = yum. But, are apparently hard to get out of your mouth.

She learned that pinecones stick your fingers.

She learned that grass is scratchy and dirt is just too weird right now.

And the shells? They look yummy. Actually...everything looks yummy.